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Whole Hogg

Hoggs n' Chicks serves creative pork and chicken dishes in Missouri City.

"And without the pretension," she added with a sheepish grin.

The bar part will come later to Hoggs n' Chicks (sort of), as the place is currently in the process of obtaining a liquor license. On the giant pig-shaped chalkboard that lists its daily specials, the crew has already written out a few wines and local beers that will be offered once the license comes through. With a flat-screen TV in one corner and plenty of comfort food to go around — including ideal bar-snacky treats like pork sliders and pigs-in-a-blanket — I can see relaxed Sunday afternoons watching football here or catching up after work if you live in the area and want something far nicer than your average bar. At the very least, it will be lovely to one day sip a glass of Zinfandel with the smoked pork brisket coated in a kicky apple-jalapeño sauce.
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Not everything comes together as well as that pig's delight sandwich or the Tabasco pulp rémoulade on that perfectly breaded and fried shrimp, unfortunately.

Pork-filled glory: the pig's delight.
Troy Fields
Pork-filled glory: the pig's delight.

Location Info

Map

Hoggs n' Chicks

8817 Highway 6
Missouri City, TX 77459

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Outside Houston

Details

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.

Jalapeño-glazed chicken slider: $1.69

Saigon pork slider: $1.69

Buttermilk fried chicken: $4.69

Pulled pork sandwich: $4.69

Pig's delight sandwich: $6.69

Fried shrimp with Tabasco rémoulade: $8.69

Veggie burger: $5.69

Fried okra: $1.69

Macaroni and cheese: $1.69

Bananas Foster bread pudding: $3.69

Hoggs n' Chicks

8817 Highway 6, Missouri City, 281-778-4644.

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For every juicy Saigon pork slider, there's a clunker like the jalapeño-glazed chicken slider that is bland and flavorless. For every piece of buttermilk fried chicken with skin so good you want to eat it alone in a dark corner, there's a pulled pork sandwich lurking, its oddly flavorless meat not at all helped by a hesitant little dab of "secret sauce" on the bun.

Luckily, the good mostly outweighs the bad here and even offers some surprises, like the strikingly wonderful veggie burger served with a black bean salsa and a handful of tortilla chips. I forced my dining companion to order it one evening, despite his recent reconversion to the meat side, because I wanted the benefit of knowing what his palate — trained after years of eating house-made and frozen, preformed veggie patties during his vegetarian decade — would think of it.

"This is amazing," he kept repeating. "It's all vegetables. No beans, no filler. All vegetables." I watched as he took it apart and began dissecting it rather grossly at the table. The veggie burger is even gluten-free, so no grains were holding the patty together. It seemed to be stuck together with sheer willpower and quinoa, lots and lots of quinoa. I was positively stunned.

Not only do you rarely see quinoa on restaurant menus (although it's finally gaining popularity in the States as a complete protein that, happily, also tastes good), I was thrilled to see it in such an ideal application — a veggie burger patty — and in such a strange location. Sorry, Missouri City. I didn't take you for quinoa connoisseurs, and I was wrong.

In addition to the grain-like vegetable (it's a pseudo-cereal that's closely related to beets and spinach), there were plenty of carrots, peas, red and yellow bell peppers, onions and all manner of other veggies in the large patty. It didn't try at all to imitate meat, thank God, and was even more delicious for it.

The best veggie burger in town at a place far off most Houstonians' beaten paths, a place that specializes in heavy, soul-satisfyingly meat-based dishes like cracklin' pork shank with mashed potatoes and collard greens (a special one Sunday afternoon) is just one of the surprises Hoggs n' Chicks has in store for those willing to make the trip. And trust me, it's worth it.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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